Monday, September 29, 2008

I am blushing...

because I was gifted with a wonderful bloggy award from my friar friend, Freddie. (and I love his blog too but I don't think I can send the award back to him...there's probably a rule about it somewhere. So I'll just say it here...I love your blog, Freddie. Although most who know me know that I am not necessarily a rule follower. Um...I am more of a rule bender. When necessary. Or fun. Or just because. But I digress.)
Okay, and there's this nifty little game that we get to play along with the award. So, here goes.
(I guess it's a word association game because I have to give one word answers. Which you might have guessed may be a little difficult to do. Because I am nothing if not wordy.)
where is your cell phone? um....
where is your significant other? (this is harder than it looks!) there
your hair color? blonde
your mother? (what? where she is or what color hair she has?) talking/white
your father? napping/none
your favorite thing? tulips
your dream/goal? Jesus
The room you're in? kitchen
your hobby? reading
your fear? roller coasters
where do you want to be in 6 years? (why six years?) Tuscany
where were you last night? here
what you're not? short
one of your wish list items? quilt
the last thing you did? dishes
what are you wearing? scruffies
your tv? (my tv what?) on
your pet? (which one?) five (dogs, one cat, a bunch of parrots. words in parentheses do not count.)
your computer? yes
your mood? silly (I no longer want to strangle that boy.)
missing someone? (did someone leave?) nope
your car? blue
something you're not wearing but love to wear? winnie-the-pooh
favorite store? bookstore
your summer? dry
love someone? yep
your favorite color? blue? (I love most colors...they all represent something to me.)
when is the last time you laughed? today!
last time you cried? recently?
And now I am supposed to nominate seven blogs I love. Or the people who write them. So...
And in all honesty, there are so many more blogs that I love. (check out Amy's, Lori's, and Tammy's!) But the rules say that I can only choose seven. (I'm sticking my tongue out at the rules!)

That boy...

Okay, everybody say it with me...I will not strangle that boy. I will not. That would be wrong. Nope, I will not strangle that boy.
Who could be mad at that sweet little face? Um...I could and I am. But I will not strangle him. I just might ground him til he's 42...nope, then he'd still be living with me when I was...never mind.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cover to Cover:Blessed

You know, every time I finish one of these posts, I worry whether or not I made any sense or if my thoughts were too disjointed to connect with anyone. So, now that you've been warned that this might be one of "those" posts, I would encourage you to stop by Bev's and find some people that make sense...

Okay, let me say how excited I am to have reached the New Testament. Not that I haven't loved the Old because I have. (and now I feel guilty for even implying that I might prefer one over the other.) But my heart has been singing all week at the thought of entering the days of my Saviour.

Oh, and one other random thought...there is a new chronological study Bible that just came out. It looks really cool! I was glancing through it and was immediately caught up in the historical notes and time lines and so forth. I am thinking about using it if I do this again next year.

Now, back to the business at hand. I don't think that I've ever had as many notes as I have over this week. So I am going to try and pick and choose the best of the best so to speak. (although we all know that all of the Word is the best...)

One of the more beautiful passages to me was the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem. I am a very visual person and I just have this wonderful picture in my head of the choirs gathering and the people rejoicing as songs of praise and thanksgiving are offered to God.

Many sacrifices were offered on that joyous day, for God had given the people cause for great joy. The women and children also participated in the celebration, and the joy of the people of Jerusalem could be heard far away. Nehemiah 12:43

Of course, in the very next chapter, we find Nehemiah coming back to Jerusalem and finding Judah committing some of the very same sins that caused God to punish them in the first place. To be perfectly honest, I just wanted to smack them. Don't they ever learn? Um...couldn't God ask me that very question as well? Don't I ever learn? I just spent Friday morning in conversation with a friend, lamenting how we never seem to learn...we keep repeating the same behaviors over and over. So how am I any better than Judah?

Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Joel 2:13

Oh, how this verse spoke to me. Too many times I make changes on the outside rather than seeking to change the inside. Which may very well explain why I continue to fall into the same patterns over and over again. The Message says it this way: Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God. What a beautiful thought. May we choose to change our lives through Him rather than just the outward appearance.

Then, this final admonition from Malachi before four hundred years of silence: If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name," says the LORD Almighty, "I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. (Malachi 2:2) But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. (Malachi 4:2)

A warning and a promise. One that went unheeded. One that still does go unheeded today.

Four hundred years later, we find God's chosen people waiting, longing for their Messiah. I don't know about you, but I loved revisiting the "Christmas" story. We are beginning to prepare for Christmas at our store and it does my heart good to focus on what it is really all about rather than trying to figure out where to put one more box of Christmas cards.

One thing that caught my heart in this section in Luke was something that could have come from my lips...."for the Mighty One has done great things for me--(Luke 1:49)". For me. That kind of says it all, doesn't it? This story...this whole Book is for me. "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has come and redeemed His people. Because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace. Luke 1: 68,78-79)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

before even time began, my life was in His hands...

While she will never leave physical footprints on this earth, I suspect that Molly will leave eternal imprints on the hearts and minds of those who knew her and followed her story.

Molly Kathryn Mueller

July 30, 2008 - September 24, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008


Miss Molly has gone to play in heaven.

Please remember Briana and Garrick and their family in your prayers.

will we survive...

this school year? Someone just told me (thirteen minutes before time to leave for school) that he has no clean school pants. Except the pair that do not fit. And he doesn't see why I am aggravated at him because this couldn't possibly be his fault. So now we are all unhappy and tense and I have a pile of wet clothes in a basket, trying to dry one pair of pants in thirteen minutes. Argh. (Did I mention that I did like 47 loads of laundry yesterday? And since the child has 6 pairs of school pants and there are only 5 days in the week and today is the 5th day, there should be 2 pair still in the closet!)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Just another ordinary day...

For those of you who might be alarmed at my lack of wifely concern over the nutritional value of my husband's breakfast yesterday, let me set your fears at rest. He had eggs. However, I feel that I must be completely honest and confess that I did not fix his eggs. He did. (And I have absolutely no idea what my children had for breakfast.) So, to make up for my total breakfast failure yesterday, today I am cooking pancakes. Chocolate chip pancakes with peanut butter syrup for the kids and plain pancakes and sausage for the husband.

Oh, an update on the makeup thing...Jonathan informed me last night that he needed a "hand held mirror thing" for his Drama Tech class. My thought on this is that perhaps having his own mirror might improve his skills at applying makeup and therefore improve his grade. I'm not sure that I want to give him a "hand held mirror thing." Sigh.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

should I be upset or not?

Jonathan's grades often fluctuate wildly during the school year. (and yes, it drives me crazy.) He brought home a progress report on Thursday and had four A's and three B's. Yippee! However, as I checked his grades online this morning, I noticed that his grade in Drama Tech had dropped. As I investigated further, I saw the reason. He got a C Um...I'm not sure if I should feel relieved or not. What do you think?


Due to the oddness of Blogger (or me. You choose. But if you choose me, I don't want to hear about it. Because oddness is probably not something you want to be chosen for. And I am still enjoying my ice cream.) my fall reading post is here. Probably. Unless Blogger went all wacko on me again. Regardless, I am going to go finish my ice cream. Enjoy!

I'm pretty sure...

nothing says breakfast like a bowl of Carmel Praline ice cream. Yum!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Creative Counterpart...part 4

In case you've forgotten (since I didn't post about this last week due to life as we know it grinding to a halt), I am working through Creative Counterpart with Lori. (and I did read last week's chapter and do the homework, I just didn't post about it...).

The chapter this week was long (forty pages) and had a whole lot of information in it. I found it to be challenging and somewhat painful at times.
Linda starts this chapter with the verse, "Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts." (Psalm 90:12) She talks about a friend of hers who was figuring up the average amount of time she might have left on this earth. This friend was thirty and figured she should live to be at least seventy. While forty years seemed like a long time, when she broke it down into days, it only amounted to 14,600! She was challenged to live each day to the fullest...for about a week. Then life took over and years passed and the next time she thought about it, she was down to about 12,000 days. The obvious point here is that the days pass quickly and we are in real danger of waking up one day and wondering where on earth the time went. ( I'm pretty sure it was only a moment ago that my children were toddlers but yet I find that one child is planning a wedding and another is choosing colleges.)

With that thought in our heads, Linda asks what our life goal is. A woman with a life goal is not going to sit idly by and let days pass into weeks and weeks into years. She is going to make sure that her life counts! (And while I do not currently have a personal life goal, I liked Linda's and am going to borrow it until I come up with one of my own. Or not. Because hers is good.)

Here's the kicker. Now that we have a life goal, we have to work toward achieving it. Nothing is ever as simple as it sounds, is it? This is where I got a few wake up calls. And needed to reread the chapter to imprint the information on my brain. To achieve our goals, we need to set priorities.

Those priorities are: God, husband, children, home, me, outside activities.

As an activity, Linda asked us to evaluate what percentage we thought we spent in each of the six areas this past week. (I will not be revealing my score. Needless to say, I am ashamed of my percentages.)

The rest of the chapter spent a considerable amount of time detailing information about each of the six priorities. Here are a few snippets that stood out to me:
substituting activity for God for a relationship with God (um...guilty.)
our attitude toward the Word should be as a starving infant demanding food desperately.
a devotional time is not a law but a relationship (how many times do I complete devotions so I can check them off my list?)

believe it or not, I only underlined one thing. Not because I am a perfect wife (snort!) but because this covers it all...first in my heart.

What we are speaks so much louder than what we say. (ouch, been there, done that.)
Am I really there---available for their needs? (or am I zoned out, thinking about whatever it is that flits around in my little blonde head?)
an awesome responsibility before God to raise the children for Him. (oh, if only all parents would look at the blessing of children in this way!)

How would you describe the atmosphere in your home? (Jessi, do not answer that.)
It is the woman in each home who creates the atmosphere.
often she cops out and doesn't budget her time at all. (um...guilty again. ouch again.)
She concludes this priority with this verse which is just wonderful...I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. Psalm 101:2 NKJV

This was a very short section. I marked nothing. Considering how my percentages for the past week turned out, I apparently have no problem making myself a priority. Sigh.

Outside the home:
One issue I have had before was attending a bible study when my husband did not want me to. Elizabeth George counseled in one of her many books that my job was to honor my husband's request. And if he didn't want me to attend a bible study then I should not. She said that it didn't mean that I couldn't pray that God would change his mind but that my duty as a wife was to honor my husband's wishes. So I did. So rather than resenting the time that I spent at the bible study (and resenting God as well for "taking up my time"), my husband learned that his opinion was important to me. (and Linda would probably say, "activity for God is not a relationship with God.")

The other thing that I marked was "you do not need to do everything your neighbor does. You are not your neighbor. You are you." I do think it is easy to look at other women, see what they are doing and want to do it to. Or wish that you did it as well as they do. But we have no idea how our life really compares to theirs. We do not walk in their shoes and they have no idea how ours fit. One of my friends is constantly telling me that she has no idea how I do everything I do. I always wonder what on earth it is that she thinks I am doing. Or I think that I may be doing bunches of things but I don't think I am doing them well. Then I think that I wish my house was as clean as hers is. (she washes her microwave out regularly!) She is also getting ready to take another mission trip to Romania. And she does professional photography work, raises three kids and works part time. She also works with a handicapped group at two different churches. And she and her husband are talking about adopting an older-than-them gentleman whose father can no longer take care of him. And she has no idea how I do what I do? But I am not her and she is not me and God has called each of us to different things. (Hi, Shireen! Did you recognize yourself?)

Hmmm...I said there was a lot of information in this chapter. If you are still reading, thanks. If not, well, thanks anyway. I suspect Lori is a lot more succinct in her post about this one.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

cover to cover: fascinated

I will confess to being a little out of sorts this past week. There have been many many different things going on here including (but not limited to) a major power outage. It's amazing how being "out of pocket" can destroy your concentration and routine. So...for the rest of you that do Cover to expectations are high for you to fill me in on whatever I've been too distracted to see. (no pressure!)

There is this one thing though. And it ties rather neatly into my week. Or maybe it would be better to say that it convicted me about my week.

I was fascinated at the number of times Ezra and Nehemiah referenced "the hand of the LORD was on them." And to be perfectly honest, a little bit jealous as well. I want the Hand of the LORD on me as I go about my day. Then I noticed this:

This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel. Ezra 7:10

I bet Ezra didn't get out of sorts when things weren't quite ordinary. I'm pretty sure that he didn't allow life to distract him from his task at hand, which was to "study and obey the Law of the Lord." So just perhaps the next time life throws me a curve ball, hopefully I will grab ahold of His Hand, and allow Him to lead me along the path.

You're blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You're blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That's right—you don't go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set. You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set; Then I'd never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel. I thank you for speaking straight from your heart; I learn the pattern of your righteous ways. I'm going to do what you tell me to do; don't ever walk off and leave me. Psalm 119:1-8

Fall into Reading 2008

Another reason to love Fall! Katrina is hosting the Fall into Reading extravaganza and I want to participate. One of the things that I love about reading challenges is that I try to put books on there that I might want to read but am slightly less than motivated to read. Or for some reason have been putting off (because I am afraid of what they might say.) I can also tell you that I am fairly certain that I will be reading plenty of things off the list as well. I have my trusty standbys that I reread whenever the fancy strikes. I also expect several favorite authors to release some books during this fall and I expect to find some new books on other peoples lists that I hadn't considered. That said, I've cut my list down to six titles. And they are:

I'll leave it to you to guess which one(s) I might have been putting off....

In the meantime, stop by Katrina's and join the fun. I can't wait to see what you're reading this fall!

God of this City

In light of all the things that have gone on in this city and so many others this week....

Greater things are still to be done in this city....

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's like two different worlds...

From this...(there's a van under that tree somewhere...)

To's Ryder Cup time!

One things for sure, there's never a dull moment here in Louisville!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

what is normal anyway?

I think my idea and God's idea of organizing my life and having a mini-sabbatical were completely and totally different. I'll be pondering what I've learned over the past few days and sharing more later. I just wanted to say that we (as a city) are still striving towards whatever normal is and that we (as a family) have power for the moment. (and we are happy about this!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

although we are 1008 miles from Galveston

Hurricane Ike somehow has managed to "play" in Louisville. He came dashing through our fair city around 11 a.m. and by the time he left, he left over 301,000 homes without power, over 5000 lines down, 6 out of 8 police stations without power, and so forth. We (who almost never lose power) were among the first to be "attacked." They are currently saying that it could be up to fourteen days before all power is restored. (And don't forget, we are having the Ryder Cup here starting today.) Schools are out and groceries, gas stations and businesses have been closed. (I will be heading to LifeWay shortly to see if we might finally have power there.)

However, we are blessed. The weather has been cool (with a nice "breeze".) We were able to evacuate all our food to my mother-in-laws fridge and freezer (and my fridge has never been cleaner!), we have had plenty of lantern light, and Jessi has spent the last two evenings reading to Jonathan...just like Little House on the Prairie! (We were laughing yesterday as we drove down the street because there were actually children outside playing instead of inside playing video games and watching tv.)

Anyhow, I hope all of you all are well and safe! Blessings!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A title-less post (which actually gives it a title, I suppose...)

This chick (I never know if I should use real names...) tagged me for a meme. Memes are not my strong suit but this one says I can break the rules if I want to...sounds like my kind of game! So here we go!

The rules:
1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.
2. link back to the person who tagged you
3. link back to this parent post
4. tag a few friends or five, or none at all
5. post these rules— or just have fun breaking them.

1. Blogging has helped inspire me to be the woman God created me to be. (It's hard to keep saying that it's impossible to be that woman when I see so many living examples here in blogdom.)
2. Blogging has helped hold me accountable in different areas of my life. When I blog about doing something, you'd better believe that somebody asks me if I have.
3. Oh my, how I have been challenged as I have read others blogs. I like to think that this has been reflected in the kind of blogger that I have become. You make me think. And when I think, I write about it. (I know it doesn't always seem like I am thinking, but trust me...I am. )
4. Blogging sucks time out of the air. I always think that I can finish up a post in just a few minutes. I blink, look at the clock, and a half an hour or more has passed. I have had to be more careful with time.

I actually received this tag the same day I received an email that demonstrates the most important way blogging has affected me.

I began my serious blog reading sometime in December. In January or February, a blog that I was reading led me to the blog of a woman whose young daughter had just drowned in a swimming pool. The woman has such a beautiful spirit, even during such a difficult time. I referenced her blog one time some months ago. Then, early this summer, I met a lady through a blog that led to her asking me to join her in a bible study over the summer. Unbeknownst to me, she had been reading my blog for a few months. For "some" reason, she saw the one reference to Sumi's blog. My new friend, Cheri, just "happens" to be a part of a bible study with a lady in our church whose daughter(who was also three years old) drowned several years earlier. Cheri mentioned Sumi to Debi and Debi contacted her. Now they have corresponded and as Cheri says, there is a "friendship blossoming between two grieving mothers." This is what blogging does for me. It sometimes shows me how the Hand of God works behind the scenes to orchestrate things for His Glory. I cannot tell you how many times one of your blogs has touched my heart in just the right way at just the right moment. And I know that's the Hand of God. What a beautiful thing.

Now to the tagging part. I'm not very good at this part either. I know I have read this particular meme on some of your blogs already but my memory for meme is not so good. So, if I tag you and you've already done this, please feel free to ignore it. If I tag you and you don't want to play, please feel free to ignore it as well. If I don't tag you and you still don't want to play, well, you may also ignore it. But if you do want to play and I don't tag you, don't think it's because I don't want you to play. That's not true! Play! Have fun! (and let me know that you decided to join in!)

Annette & Annette (because they are both number one to me! And you can never have too many Annettes.) Oh, and please pray for both of them because Ike is picking on them today.
Ang-who has the sweetest heart....
Jessi-my baby...I'm so proud...
Lori-because she's making me do, really because she is a wonderful writer and I think she mentioned something about this months ago.

Have fun!

Friday, September 12, 2008

random willy nilly-ness

Here are some of the thing rattling around in my brain this morning:
I am currently taking a mini sabbatical from work to find myself. Or rather, to find my house. No, not really. Well, um...I guess really. Sort of. Actually, I have set a goal for myself to be totally organized by December 1st. (no laughing in the background, people.) I have been increasingly frustrated lately at the state of my hearth and home. So, I've decided to try and do a GIANT "clean and organize" with the hopes of just maintaining everything through the end of the holiday season. (I can't believe I am actually referring to Christmas!) After all, things at our house will only get more hectic as the season progresses.
My mini sabbatical started yesterday and some of you might be wondering how the first day went. Not so well. At least from a cleaning and organizing stand point. On the other hand, I had the opportunity to pick my son up from school and had several wonderful conversations with him ranging from his opinion of Jonathan Edwards and "sinners in the hands of an angry God", legalism in religion, the KJV only debate, various video games, the inerrancy of scripture, his decision to join a band and so on. And while I did get the grocery shopping and some basic cleaning done, these conversations are priceless to me and worth putting aside any organizing and cleaning that I might have finished.
My daughter constantly amazes me with her ability to turn a phrase. One of the things that I love and find totally fascinating is her ability to be blunt. This is not something that I am good at. (I am reminded of the line from Shrek about ogres being like onions. Not that Jessi is an ogre but she often takes subject matter and strips the layers away to reveal the meat that's left beneath. Which, on second thought, might be more like garlic...or a banana...or corn...)
Anyhow, I thought she did a wonderful job with her post on 9/11 here. Stop by and read it if you get a chance.
We are still waiting for rain. We have been taunted, teased, and promised rain for-ever. (I feel like a small child nagging about whether or not it's time to go somewhere.) And while I am praying for God to spare those in Ike's path, I sure wish He'd do a miracle and move that storm right up our way. (As a side note...and aren't they all side notes?...Jonathan and I were talking about the ability to predict a hurricane's path. I've decided that all hurricanes are going to head to Bristol, Tennessee. Because that's as likely a projected path as the three thousand paths I've seen for Ike.)
My mop bucket is waiting. I'd better head off to carry out some of the things on my list. Assuming I can find my list. And I suppose if I can't then I'll enjoy some "rest" time. Enjoy your day!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

never forget...

praying for those who lost loved ones this day...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Year Ago Today...

my life changed. I came home from the Deeper Still conference in Nashville with a heart so full of words from my God. I took the first step of a new journey that weekend. And on September 10th, 2007, I blogged about it. It would be three weeks before I had the courage to blog again. And it would be many months before I began to understand how to post pictures, insert youtube videos, and so forth. Over the course of the year I have met so many cool people. Some who are so much like me that they could be me (and do a better job of it, I am sure) and some so different from me that you would think we would have nothing in common and yet here we are, a year later, still hanging out together. I am blessed, encouraged, strengthened and challenged by the journey that we are taking together. You make my heart sing and I'm so glad I found you.
Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Creative Counterpart: Week 1

Several weeks ago, Lori mentioned that she would like to put together a group to read through and comment on the book Creative Counterpart by Linda Dillow. Well, I am always game for reading and I had looked at this book several times over the years but had never read it. So, now it's September and we've completed the first two chapters. (No, it didn't take me several weeks to read a couple of chapters. We were waiting til September to start!)

I have to confess, with all my brilliant powers of observation, I did not realize that this was a study on the Proverbs 31 woman. My least favorite person on earth. Because she is so...perfect. And I am so...not. And truth be told (because we are being honest here), I'm not sure I want to be. Too many times I still wrestle with my own selfish desires (I'd rather be reading a book than cleaning up cat vomit). Oddly enough (and who says God doesn't have a sense of humor!) I find myself doing not one but two studies revolving around that woman. So I figure this is the direction that God wants me to go for now. (kicking and screaming all the way.)

I read chapter two several times this past week (kind of hoping that I could absorb her traits through osmosis). And while I would still rather be reading a book than cleaning up cat vomit, I did find several interesting points.

The thing that I found most reassuring was this: Linda points out that she has grown children. Which means that she is of a certain age herself. Which tells us that this was not something that happened overnight. "Her inner qualities did not appear overnight but were hammered out in the trials of life as she trusted God and obeyed Him." (p19) I think one of the reasons that she frustrates me so is that I don't feel like I am like her. As a matter of fact, I know I am not. But, the question of the day is, "am I more like her today than I was a year ago?" And I'd like to think the answer is yes. One other thing that Linda mentions along this line is,"God would not use her as the example of the 'excellent wife' unless we, too, could grow to become like her." (p19) So that's our reassurance that all is not lost. Since the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step (or something like that) I am going to think of these studies as my first steps.

There are several subsections in the chapter "beautiful blueprint". Lori broke each one down and commented on all of them. I'm not quite ready to do that. One thing did strike me as I read her recap of the chapter though and it came from the other study that I am working through. Donna is having us memorize Proverbs 31:10-31 (and I've memorized 10-15. Woo hoo!) and the portion of the verse that caught my eye was, "her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value." For some reason this touches me each time I read or recite it. I want my husband to lack nothing of value. To have full confidence in me. To know that I am going to clean up the cat vomit. Or call the delivery place or have all the ingredients to fix dinner. To know that his home will be managed. And right now, that's a hit or miss kind of thing. Which is why I am in the midst of two different studies dealing with the same issue, How to be the wife that God wants me to be. One that blesses her husband and children.

Linda finished the chapter by pointing out that "the key to her success was that she feared the Lord." And our key to being like that woman is to begin as she did, "with a vital relationship with God." (p20)

Our homework this week was to read and reread Proverbs 31. Linda also asked us to be specific in listing personal goals for this year in six different areas. My goals are as follows (and I am hoping she's not referring to the calendar year.):

a) Your relationship to God---to get up earlier and spend more time with Him.

b)Your relationship to your husband---to serve him more (with a happy heart!)

c) Your relationship to your children---to listen more attentively

d) Your homemaking abilities---to be better organized (house, meals, etc.)

e) Yourself as a woman---to be more fit, eat better, exercise more

f) Your outreach to others (through outside activities)---I really feel God is calling me to be more offer more of my home to others...and this will probably be the hardest thing on my list to do. I always feel my house isn't clean enough or my life isn't organized enough to open it up to others. (and yes, I am probably harder on myself than others would be...)

So, here we are at the end of week one, chapter two. If you'd like to join us, please stop by Lori's and check it out. (and that girl has a way with words. She can teach!)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Cover to Cover: where will they find you?

Welcome to cover to cover, the continuing story of what God is revealing in our lives through His Word.

We started this week by finishing Ezekiel and moving into Daniel. I have mixed feeling about leaving Ezekiel. On the one hand, I find him utterly fascinating. What a life of obedience and faith. Such dedication to the Lord. However, I really struggled with his visions sometimes and the whole cubit thing about drove me crazy. I am not a math kind of girl. But I will miss him and he is now on my list of people to sit down with some day.

I love revisiting old stories and finding a fresh word. I don't know how many times I pass over something because I "know" it and think that it holds nothing new for me. (Or how many times I tune somebody out because I know what they are going to say or close my eyes to the scenery in front of me because I've seen it all before. How much do I miss?) Anyhow, we read the story of Daniel and the lions den this week. So I am be bopping along, reading and halfway paying attention because after all, this is a children's Sunday school story...isn't it? The administrators are jealous and working hard to set Daniel up and Daniel hears the new decree and what does he do? He goes to his room where the windows are open toward Jerusalem and gives thanks to God "just as he had done before." (Daniel 6:10) Trouble comes and Daniel does what he always does. Gets down on his knees and prays. However, this is not the only thing that caught my attention. Not only does Daniel stay the same (character-who you are when no one is looking), the administrators knew he would be on his knees and praying. They found him exactly where they thought they would. On his knees, praying.

Oh, how this speaks to me.

Where would they expect to find us in times of trouble? Or in times of joy?

And more importantly, would you find us there?

"If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says God, "I'll get you out of any trouble. I'll give you the best of care if you'll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times; I'll rescue you, then throw you a party. I'll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!" Psalm 91:14-16

Friday, September 5, 2008


Guess who's coming to town?

The hunt for the next American Idol will be taking place at Churchill Downs this weekend.

It's safe to say that I won't be participating in the festivities (because we all know I can't sing) but for those of you who are Idol fans...welcome to the 'ville!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Are you Bible Studying...

this fall?

Because of the nature of my job, I have about decided that I will not be taking a "structured" bible study this fall. Since any type of retail tends to explode during the fall months, I am afraid that my brains will be leaking out my ears come November. (Which is really sad because church is offering some great choices.)

I am still working through Donna Partow's Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be. It's a 90 day study so it will carry me into the fall. It isn't too time demanding so I think I can make it work. (I was posting about it somewhere else and accidentally said it was a 900 day study. I might actually begin to look more like the Proverbs 31 lady if I study for 900 days!)

Anyhow, Lori is going to be doing Creative Counterpart in blogdom so I thought I would join her as well. For some reason, I didn't realize that this was also a study on the Proverbs 31 lady. Sigh. By golly, I'd better be close to perfect by the time I finish all this! And I think we are going to discuss what we've learned on Tuesdays. So you can offer pointers then. I'm sure I could use them! whole point to this was...are you doing a bible study this fall? Are your fall's as busy as mine? Do you think you'll have time to complete a study? Inquiring minds want to know...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Baby Molly turned one month old on Saturday. As her mommy says, 95% of trisomy 18 babies do not make it to their one month birthday. Thank you for praying for this family!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Cover to Cover

Over the past weeks and months that I have been reading chronologically and participating in cover to cover I've developed a system for making notes and pulling my thoughts together. It's not a sophisticated system but it works for me. As I read, if I find something that speaks to me, I put a small numbered post it note on that page. This is particularly useful for me as we tend to jump around as we read and the numbered system helps me to see when I read what.

The thing that jumped out at me this week came from Ezekiel 39. We have been reading so much about the destruction that God will be bringing to Israel and the suffering that they will endure. As I read Ezekiel 39:28-29 I realized that while this punishment was for Israel's own good (and mine as well), God continues to show His great love for His people. He leaves them with a promise that after the punishment has been endured, "for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD."

I then went back to see what else I had marked for the week (because my mind is full of butterflies that flit from thing to thing) and this is what I discovered:

"For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Jeremiah 31:34b

'For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.' Ezekiel 34:11

...the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. Ezekiel 34:27b

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Ezekiel 36:25-27

...for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. Ezekiel 37:23b

I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. Ezekiel 37:26

So, do you see any theme here? I love the thought of God's forgiveness and the thought that He is waiting to welcome them home. Join us at Bev's this week for a recap of this weeks readings.

And I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep. I myself will make sure they get plenty of rest. I'll go after the lost, I'll collect the strays, I'll doctor the injured, I'll build up the weak ones and oversee the strong ones so they're not exploited. Ezekiel 34:11